Media Salles ScreenshotThis edition I’m having a look at a site which I’ve looked at for around ten years. The Media Salles is a European funded organisation which is based in Italy. The MEDIA Salles project operates within the framework of the European Union’s MEDIA Programme, with the support of the Italian Government. MEDIA Salles fosters the theatrical distribution of European films. One of the biggest things that Media Salles does it to produce the “European Cinema Yearbook” each year which analysis the European cinema exhibition industry in detail,  providing details of the number of screens, cinemas, ticket prices and much more for the whole of Europe. The site provides a rich resource for cinema exhibition papers and statistics. The printed version of the yearbook is worth getting hold of, although the last couple of years are available up on the website in fall. And being a European funded site you will find that everything is in English, French and Italian.

As a website design, I hate this site. It has virtually not changed in site or features over the course of the last ten years or so, doesn’t have a consistent fill or any menu structure. It is very easy to follow a link and to then get stuck without any easy way of getting back to the rest of the site. And although the site is multilingual most pages have each version of the paragraph one after another, thus making it quite distracting. In an ideal world the site would allow you to switch languages as you need to – something which is fairly commonplace on sites which need multi-languages.

There is a useful Sitemap which makes navigation slightly easier, but unfortunately having found it once I was unable to locate it a second time (the url is

This is a site to visit only for its information and not for any pleasure, which is a shame because it could be a really good one if it could be updated.

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Download Times:

Connection Rate Download Time
14.4K 52.51 seconds
28.8K 27.05 seconds
33.6K 23.42 seconds
56K 14.69 seconds
ISDN 128K 5.61 seconds
T1 1.44Mbps 1.95 seconds

Navigation: *
Good Design: *
Updates: ****
Content: ****
Download Speed: **
Overall: **

Overall: Despite the unique content on this site it’s poor design means that it is virtually impossible to find any of the great information it contains. This is why I have given it such a low overall mark.

Testing Information:  This site is tested using a laptop at 1024 x 768 resolution running Windows XP, Firefox Version and Internet Explorer 7 over an 8Mb Broadband connection. The site is also now being tested on an Asus EEE PC. For the text only test Lynx on a Linux Server is used. A website entitled is used to test the web site to calculate the download speeds.